Dej — Municipality —
Coat of arms
Coordinates: Coordinates: Country Romania County Cluj Status Municipality Government - Mayor Morar Costan (Social Democratic Party) Area - Total 109.12 km2 (42.1 sq mi) Population (July 1, 2007) - Total 38,610 - Density 353.8/km2 (916.4/sq mi) Time zone EET (UTC+2) - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3) Website http://main.dej.ro/
Dej (Romanian pronunciation: [deʒ]; Hungarian: Dés; German: Desch, Burglos; Yiddish: דעעש) is a city in northwestern Romania, 60 km north of Cluj-Napoca, in Cluj County. It lies where the Someşul Mic River meets the river Someşul Mare River. The city administers four villages: Ocna Dejului, Peştera, Pintic and Şomcutu Mic.
According to a legend, floating Hungarian tribes stopped for a rest at the place which would later be the location of the city. They were praying, and shouted "Deus" (God in Latin) three times. In fact, the name of the city is also the origin of the personal name, Des. The Romanian and German names of the city come from the Hungarian.
Dej is an old salt mining town built on a hilly ground. The first documents attesting the existence of this city go back to 1061 and 1214. Massive salt reserves were found in the area in Roman times. The Dej fortress was built sometime between 1214 and 1235.
King Andrew II of Hungary raised Dés to the privileged status of a free royal town. In 1241 the city was invaded by Tatars. The old mines were exhausted by 1717; the new mines are still in operation today. Some of the galleries of the salt mine are believed to be more than 15 kilometers long. The population of Dej used to consist mostly of Transylvanian Saxons, who settled here from Germany; their number decreased over centuries.
In 1638, Dej was the site for the show trial staged against the members of the Sabbatarians (Hungarian: Szombatosok), a sect formed during the Protestant movement; they were sentenced to death. The execution took place in Beszterce (Bistriţa).
In 1717, an attack by the Tatars of Crimea struck Dej.
According to the last Romanian census from 2002 there were 38,437 people living within the city.
Points of interest
The city's landmark is the Hungarian Reformed Church, built in the second half of the 15th century. The church displays Gothic elements carved in stone. The tower is 72 meters high, and the fortifying walls were erected in the 16th century, then torn down during a renovation in the 1880s. There is also a Franciscan monastery in Dej, which also has a large synagogue near the Reformed Church.
In 1944, the Jews of Dej, along with the Jews from the surrounding areas, were marched to the nearby bungar forest. Some 8,000 Jews were left exposed to the elements for approximately one month. In June 1944, the Jews were deported by train to Auschwitz for extermination. In 1944, the Jewish population accounted for approximately 25% of the entire city. In 2008, there are five Jews living in Dej. In front of the synagogue there is a memorial to the Jewish victims.
Other sites of interest in Dej: "Dr. Teodor Mihaly" and "Dr. Alexandru Vaida-Voevod" memorial houses and the Ocna Dej salt mine, said to be suited for the treatment of locomotor system diseases, asthenia, debility, and rachitis.
- ^ "Population as of July 1, 2007" (in Romanian). INSSE. April 4, 2008. http://www.insse.ro/cms/rw/resource/populatia_stab_1%20iulie2007.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-04.
- ^ http://www.edrc.ro/recensamant.jsp?regiune_id=2140&judet_id=2295&localitate_id=2298
Cluj County, Romania Cities Towns Communes
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